Price: $1.99–Publisher: TRADEGAME LAB–OS: iOS–Tycoon games are the type of games that aren’t vastly popular in general, but those who do play tend to be devout fans. As a tycoon game addict myself, I was excited to hear about Cruise Tycoon, the newest game from TRADEGAME LAB, the ones who made Hotel Tycoon and Air Tycoon, both of which we’ve reviewed. Cruise Tycoon is a game where you create your own cruise ship line, by buying ships, sailing routes, and much more. The graphics in this game were curious: some of the images and cartoons looked awesome, while the map (as well the objects on it) is completely pixellated. Many of the menus, tutorial notices, and other screens had grammar errors, and these contributed to an overall lack of polish for the game. The translation in this game is also flawed: I played in French for a while, and though the grammar was good, only about a third of the game menus and notices were actually in French! The rest was left in English.
The gameplay is straightforward: you can accumulate ships, sail on routes, and grow your company, while keeping track of the small things as well (service, maintenance, employees, etc.). One thing I did enjoy is the scheduling aspect of the game: the user can choose when he wants to fly any route, given it works within the ship’s distance limit (measured in “nights on the sea”), meaning you can put many different routes on just one ship. This is a big improvement compared to Air Tycoon, where one plane is stuck to one route. With that said, the distances in this game seem flawed. The distance from New York to California is just 4 nights, while in reality it would take 5x more time to get there. Also, when a route was added, it would pass over LAND on the map instead of going on the water. I’m guessing distances are calculated by following this path, which explains the short sail time from New York to California. This is a huge problem in my opinion, as simulation games that aren’t realistic aren’t technically simulations. There were also a great deal of nuisances throughout the game: for example, when you order a ship of lower quality (which can’t handle “suites”), you still had to design a suite, even though there were none on the ship. Content is also somewhat limited: there are a somewhat small amount of ports on the map, but you can purchase more with an in-app purchase. Of course, this a stretch on the developer’s part, since the user already paid for the game, and whole continents (Africa and South America) don’t even have one port.
Despite all of these shortfalls, Cruise Tycoon does have a very addicting gameplay. After a few minutes, I was completely immersed in the game, and even a few days later, I’m still hooked! This is one good aspect that Cruise Tycoon has in common with its predecessors. The game has decent stability: the only time I encountered a problem was in the in-app purchases screen, where it wouldn’t load and I had to restart the app. Overall, Cruise Tycoon is a decent game. It has a very unique concept, an addicting gameplay, and normal app stability, but the poor distance system and small nuisances seem to be holding the game back from its full potential. This is why the app gets a 7 out of 10.